Gyms are generally seen as ‘healthy’ places – where the focus is on fitness, health and living longer. While all this is true, gyms can also be hotbeds of pathogenic germs of all kinds – especially when you consider those warm moist rooms, sweaty bodies, pongy gym shoes, sharing of equipment between perfect strangers, and the potential for athlete’s foot in the showers!
Germs are with us all the time of course, and most are harmless to humans. Even the pathogenic ones won’t usually cause harm unless our immunity is compromised. However we all come down with things at times, and the aim needs to be to keep your gym as free of pathogens as you can. This is a task that generally takes professional commercial cleaning to achieve.
Favourite germ hang-out spots in gyms
According to an article in Prevention, these include exercise balls, weights, gym equipment, exercise bikes, bathrooms, showers, change rooms, saunas, exercise rooms, and pools.
Examples of pathogens found in gyms can include e-coli, salmonella, pseudomonas (causes eye infections), staph, strep, norovirus, MRSA, fungi / yeasts, and cryptosporidium – that chlorine-resistant bug that can be found in pools.
Micro-organisms in gyms can cause colds, flu, gastroenteritis, skin infections, yeast infections, ringworm, tinea, and even Hepatitis A. Infections can be caught by touching contaminated surfaces and then touching your mouth or eyes, from breathing in fine airborne droplets, or if you have an open wound.
There are a number of ways that you can reduce hygiene risks in the gym:
- Daily cleaning and sanitising helps to prevent the build-up of pathogens to dangerous levels. Have your gym cleaned and sanitised by professional gym cleaners every day – ones who know where the hotspots for pathogens are and who have the expertise and equipment to deal with problem areas. At Jan-Pro, we use hospital-grade disinfectants on high-touch hotspots, and we also use state-of-the-art tools to measure results, to make sure we are helping you achieve your hygiene goals.
- Have your air conditioner regularly serviced – with particular attention being paid to cooling towers and filters to prevent airborne germs and viruses.
- Encourage hygiene in members and visitors. For example, you could put up signs requesting that people wash hands before workouts, cover equipment with their own towel, and wipe down equipment afterwards with disinfectant wipes. Encourage them to bring a separate towel for shower use, and to take dirty clothing home in
However, since it’s quite impossible to police what everyone does in a busy environment such as a gym, specialised cleaning can help to ensure your facility is kept clean and hygienic. Talk to us at Jan-Pro to find out more.